Since the Covid 19 pandemic, we have all had to address a completely new way of living and working, in addition our pets have also had to cope with a new household dynamic, this may include reduced or even zero walks, larger and noisier households and possibly illness. There may also be additional stress and tension. So how does “My Dog and Covid” 19 (Cornavrius) cope and live together in the new world.
Caring For Your Dog Whilst Caring For Yourself.
The last few weeks have been undeniably tough. If you are like me you will be watching the Coronavirus news on a daily basis, dismayed at the increase in deaths. I have clapped and cried for our carers and I have slowly accepted this is the new normal.
In this current crisis I have witnessed how much people care for each other, for our neighbours and their animals, complete strangers offering kindness and generously giving their time. But one of the other areas I nave noticed is how this lockdown is effecting our own Mental Health. It has ben widely discussed and monitored by many.
As I previously mentioned and acknowledge, it has been undeniably tough but rest assured and without a doubt you can make a difference. Not just to your neighbours life but to your own, to your pet or Dog.
Caring for your Dog whilst caring for yourself goes hand in hand. Certainly for many of us, we have additional time on our hands. I thought I could share with you some of the research I discovered about how you and your dog can cope during the current pandemic
Walking Your Dog Or Asking Others To Walk Her
If you are not self isolating because of the Coronavirus then you are still free to walk your dog. The Government (currently) advises 30 minutes of daily exercise.
* If you live by yourself then it’s once a day only. You need to keep your dog entertained in other ways- See “Keeping Dog Busy” for ideas
* Households with more than one Adult can take out the dog more than once a day if they take in turns.
Usual Social Distancing applies this includes with other dogs as you may not be able to retrieve your dog easily or with distance in mind
* Others walking your dog.
Government allow you asking a friend or relative to walk the dog on your behalf if you are unable. Many communities are currently offering the vulnerable additional services which include, shopping, food delivery, prescription/meds service together with a “walking the dog” Check your local Facebook page or indeed google search your local community where you will find wonderful communities pulling together.
But what if you don’t have a “wonderful community”? There is another alternative they are called “The Cinnamon Trust A national charity who look after the elderly and their pets. In recognition that pets also require care they have an army of over 17,000 volunteers all over the UK. This will also include fostering your pet/dog in the event you are required to go into hospital.
For more information click on www.cinnamon.org.UK
* Taking your Dog To the Toilet.
If you need to take the dog out for the toilet, because you don’t have a garden, then do so, just remember the “social distancing” restrictions. If you yourself are social distancing and are unable to leave your house then allow your dog to do his business outside your door. Having enough pooh bags for the period of isolation is essential
Vets, Grooming & Other Essential Visits
Government current advice is: “stay at home and avoid others unless absolutely essential” This includes your vet, unless its urgent, it is unlikely the Veterinary practice will be running a normal clinic. If urgent call and ask for advice, all vets will provide minimum service. In the event you are isolating and your dog needs help, call the vet and ask for support.
Grooming is not considered essential and if your dog is anything like mine then it requires regular cuts. There are several excellent web sites and tutorials offering tips and guidance. Don’t be afraid, my partner and I used a good pair of scissors and tutorial and gave Dolly a good trim up. Click here for Wikihow with pictures
Keeping Your Dog Busy
I previously wrote a blog, (unrelated to Covid 19), which was about “Keeping Your Dog Occupied” This offers many useful tips, especially now many of us are in lockdown.
Click on the link for further information Within the post there are brain games for dogs, how to deal with boredom and stress together with information about coping when or if you are living in a flat or an apartment
* Keep a Routine (where possible)
* Let them see outside (where possible through the windows or doors)
* Devote time to them (lets be honest you may have considerably more time)
Additional Advice, Support & Where to Find.
By now you know about Washing Your Hands, but did you know that currently the advice surrounding your dog is to thoroughly wash your hands both before and after:
* Feeding them
* Touching them
* Touching their toys
* Touching their bedding
This because we do not know exactly how long Coronavirus can survive on a surface and that includes living on your dog and or his accessories. It is also good practice not to let him lick you or your face nor share your food.
Currently there is no evidence dogs are affected by Covid 19 however what is known is they can transmit the virus from one human to another. Therefore, ensure good safety with others when stroking your dog and you theirs. In the event you have to go into quarantine or indeed suffer with the Coronavirus, touch him as infrequently as possibly and bath him often.
We know this will one day pass and by the time you read this we may well be through the worst. But there are additional support services available to you and some are there 24/7 in the event you are alone and struggling
* MIND For Mental Health and wellbeing mind.org.UK
* NHS. Have a lot of useful information, in particular how to take care of your mental health
I started by asking How does my dog (and me) cope in this new world, the world with Coronavirus? How do I care for my dog during the pandemic. A few pointers and in summary
- You are not alone – Many charities are there for you. (a few are attached to this blog)
- You can still walk your Dog
- Support is available in many guises
- Get organised with Pooh Bags and Dog Food
- Keep your Dog (and yourself) busy and motivated
- Do not mentally isolate even though you may physically have to.
- Social Distance for your Dog as well as yourself
- Wash Your Hands (many times) use handcream
- This will one day pass.
Much of my research was from the Kennel Club. You can look at their website www.kennelclub.org.UK for updates and further information.
I would welcome your comments and I would love to hear how you and your dog are coping. Your comments and tips help others.. 🙂
In our house Dolly (now 14) is sleeping a lot…
Take Care, stay safe
Cordelia and Dolly
& Own library